Becoming an Expert Handler in Pokémon GO is your ticket to a more immersive and rewarding experience. With the AR+ update available on iPhones and iPads running iOS 11 and above, and Android devices running Android 7.0+ and can support ARCore, catching Pokémon takes on a whole new dimension. Instead of merely tossing Poke Balls at wild Pokémon, you can now track them down in tall grass and get up close, almost feeling their presence. The thrill of this method isn’t just in the fun it brings but also in the extra rewards it offers – 100 additional XP and 25 Stardust for successfully catching a Pokémon up close. Plus, you get to throw your Poke Ball from a shorter distance, making your catches even more precise.
To get started, make sure your iPhone, iPad, or Android device supports the AR+ feature. When you launch Pokémon GO, you’ll receive a prompt to enable AR+ mode if your device is compatible. To make the most of this feature, you’ll need some physical space, so we recommend using AR+ in places like parks, where you can move around freely.
With AR+ mode activated, the days of wild Pokémon simply appearing in front of you are over. Now, when you encounter a Pokémon, AR+ mode will activate upon tapping on it. Look around for patches of tall grass, and when you tap the grass, the Pokémon will leap out, adding an exciting element of surprise to your encounters.
Approach the wild Pokémon carefully, without startling it. Keep an eye on its awareness meter as you get closer; if it fills up, the Pokémon may flee. Walk slowly and hold your iPhone, iPad, or Android device steady to avoid alarming the Pokémon. If you notice the awareness meter starting to fill, stop immediately. Take your time and move cautiously, focusing on not startling the Pokémon, rather than rushing and hoping it remains calm.
For those rare Pokémon encounters, consider using a Nanab Berry before approaching. This will make it easier to sneak up on them, reducing the chances of them running away.
Successfully catching a Pokémon without raising its awareness will reward you with the Expert Handler Bonus, offering extra Stardust and XP.
Once you’re close enough, the awareness meter will be replaced by a marker indicating that you’ve achieved the Expert Handler bonus. Now, you can start throwing Poke Balls, but be mindful of your camera’s alignment and your distance from the Pokémon. In AR+ mode, you’ll be much closer to the Pokémon when the Expert Handler bonus kicks in. Be careful not to overextend your throw—make a short, quick motion for an accurate toss.
If you wish, you can continue to approach the Pokémon after earning the Expert Handler bonus. However, be cautious not to make sudden movements that might startle the Pokémon. If you back away, the awareness meter will return. While Pokémon in AR+ mode won’t move side to side or jump around like other wild Pokémon, they can still be tricky to catch up close. Good luck, Trainer.